Two more arrested for subway surfing as dangerous trend continues in NYC

Two more New Yorkers were nabbed subway surfing, part of a disturbing trend fueled by social media and even attracting daredevils from Europe, police said Tuesday.

“They’re videotaping themselves, they’re posting on social media and they’re doing it all for a cheap thrill and attention and clout,” said NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper. “They’re not thinking about the tragic consequences.”

On Feb. 20, Zackery Nazario, 15, was killed while subway surfing atop a train rumbling over the Williamsburg Bridge as his girlfriend watched in horror. Police said the youth was struck by a low beam and toppled between cars, at which point he was run over by the train.

Another 15-year-old, Ka’Von Wooden, was killed in December. He was subway surfing on top of a train as it approached the Delancey Street/Essex Street station on the Lower East Side when he fell under and hit the third rail.

The stunt is growing in popularity — with 928 incidents of surfing and riding between cars last year, compared to just 206 the year before, according to the MTA.

Kemper said it’s not unusual for police to catch Europeans subway surfing while visiting the city.

“This is the greatest subway system in the world,” he said. “This is New York City. There are people just infatuated with subway systems.”

So far this year, cops have made 55 arrests for unsafe riding — compared to 185 for all of last year. In 2021, the figure was just 80. Unsafe riding includes riding between cars and riding outside the last car, as well as surfing atop a subway car or hanging onto its side.

In dozens of cases involving teens, the offender is typically released to the custody of a parent, with police preparing a juvenile report rather than filing criminal charges.

“Our goal is just prevent these kids from doing this,” Kemper said.

Last Friday afternoon, police stopped a No. 7 train at the Junction Blvd. station in Corona and nabbed two teens boys.

One, 15, was hanging out in the motorman’s cab. The other, 16, was riding on the back of the train. Both were released to their mothers.

Then on Monday afternoon, another 15-year-old boy was caught hanging onto the last car on a D train at the Bay 50th St. station in Bensonhurst.

Kemper said the troubling spike comes amid a continued drop in major subway crime.

So far this year, the crime rate has dropped 22%, a decline that he said started Oct. 25. On that day, the department flooded the system with 1,200 extra cops.

Kemper said a heavy uniformed presence, in combination with a surge in quality-of-life enforcement, has sparked the sharp drops.

Fare evasion arrests have more than tripled this year, to 762. Those arrests are typically for people caught committing other crimes or for those with warrants, according to Kemper. Another 21,263 offenders were issued summonses — compared to just 12,338 at this time last year.

“Just setting the tone for law and order in the subway system is part of the reason” for the crime drop, Kemper said.